Rumors of (Star) Wars


Mike Schilling

Mike has been a software engineer far longer than he would like to admit. He has strong opinions on baseball, software, science fiction, comedy, contract bridge, and European history, any of which he's willing to share with almost no prompting whatsoever.

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50 Responses

  1. Avatar Kazzy says:

    Would Erickson prefer mandated metal detectors? What about small government? Private property rights? Good guys with guns???Report

    • Avatar Michael Cain says:

      Is it worth pointing out that in the Aurora theater shooting, Holmes left the theater through an emergency exit and re-entered with his guns through the same door? And how difficult it would be to stop something similar, assuming it were well organized?Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:

        Obviously emergency exits are regulations gone mad.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        Not hard at all, if only Obama would say that the enemy is Islamic Extremism.Report

      • Avatar Guy says:

        You could pretty trivially have the emergency exits lock from the outside (and theater owners might even want to do that, if they have a significant problem with people sneaking in), but that would probably be detrimental if you were dealing with more than one person and might cause other issues in other kinds of emergencies. Anything remotely effective is probably going to require a good bit of money from the theater, plus oversight on the part of the government (meaning money).Report

        • Avatar Brandon Berg says:

          I’m pretty sure they already do that, to prevent people from sneaking in. Presumably he propped it open as he left. I’m surprised there wasn’t an alarm. I accidentally walked out of a store’s emergency exit when I was a kid, and there was a very loud alarm.

          Edit: More on theater emergency exits. As I suspected, the police believe he propped it open.Report

          • What would a theater exit be alarmed? They can’t be used for shoplifting.Report

          • Avatar Michael Cain says:

            Reasons I can think of for not having emergency doors at a theater alarmed in the sense of loud horns going off and the lights coming on:

            It seems like an invitation for pranks. Sit near the emergency exit, than half-way through the movie open the door and run like hell away into the dark outside. A particularly nasty prank, since if people panic someone’s likely to get trampled.

            If triggered by accident, it will probably take several minutes to shut down. If I were at the performance, I’d demand a refund — expensive if lots of people do it. This alone would seem to dictate that theater operators use “silent” alarms that simply turn on a light on a console somewhere, and an employee comes around to investigate quietly later — maybe even after the movie ends.

            Many theaters use the “emergency” exits as normal exits at the end of the movie. Adding complexity to the alarm system so that it is automatically disabled several times per day adds to the ways it can fail when you need it. Getting the timing right on that will be tricky given contemporary exit patterns: some patrons bolt as soon as the credits start to roll, some wait until the credits are done. (Marvel Films may be breaking people of the habit of leaving early with their little “Easter egg” vignettes embedded in the middle of the credits.)

            While possibly (probably?) effective against a deranged individual like the Aurora, CO theater shooting, much less so against even two organized better-armed terrorists. On a cell-phone signal, the person in the theater opens the door and the alarm goes off; within seconds, while the patrons are still figuring out what they should do, the outside person has stepped in and thrown the IED into the crowd.Report

            • Avatar Guy says:

              Well said. Like I said above, I would not expect easy modifications to emergency exits to be effective against organized adversaries.Report

    • Avatar Stillwater says:

      Erickson’s so scared. SO SCARED! And he doesn’t wanna be scared any more kazzy.Report

  2. Avatar Will Truman says:


  3. Avatar Will Truman says:

    In other news, Louisiana’s next governor will be a Democrat because, as it turns out, even if you have a significant electoral advantage it can still actually matter who your candidate is.Report

    • Avatar Stillwater says:

      The Democrat wins! And inherits another conservative engineered economic trainwreck ending!

      According to Rod Dreher (How Bobby Jindal Wrecked Louisiana) Jindal took office in aught-8 with a $1 billion surplus, which quickly turned, via the magic of tax cuts and the laffer curve, into a $1.6 billion deficit. He’s attempting to make up some of that gap by cutting funding for health and hospital care, medicaid, and for higher ed. Good times ahead in Loozianne!Report

  4. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    Thing about fear is, you can’t reason with it. The amygdala acts on its own and listens to no one else. Frequently causes improvident decisions, when it becomes active at inappropriate times. So it’s best not to overstimulate it all the time, but Erickson is long past that point, methinks.

    Now, I’m unlikely to see the movie that first weekend too. But my amygdala has got nothing to do with that: this is simply a preference to avoid dense crowds.Report

  5. Avatar notme says:

    Burt Likko: Yet no one suggests cowering in fear of the highways.

    Who besides yourself made any mention of cowering in fear? No one that I can see, so it would seem you are creating your own strawman. Sure there are risks in everything we do, the solution is to recognize those risks and attempt to migrate them.Report

    • Avatar Guy says:

      I’m…really not sure what else to call this. The man is literally hiding from theaters.

      (Alternate version of this comment: but where do we migrate them to? Europe obviously doesn’t have the social nerve to handle immigrants..)Report

  6. Avatar Roland Dodds says:

    Jeeez, even Star Wars is used to slam Obama.Report

  7. Avatar Damon says:

    I don’t want to live in a country where there are metal detectors in theaters, not that I think they’d do much good. It’s just “security theater” like at the airport. If someone’s willing to trade their life for the death of another, there’s not much you can do to prevent it and keep any semblance of a free society.Report

    • Avatar Kim says:

      This is freakin’ easy for you to say, because you’ve never had someone stupidly grab a knife and try to stab you. Metal Detectors aren’t for seriously dangerous people, they’re for the dopes that “bring a gun/knife” wherever they go, unless specified otherwise.Report

    • Avatar Roland Dodds says:

      I will actually be in Mexico (Morelia to be exact) when The Force Awakens is released, so it will be fun to see how that country deals with the crowds and hypothetical terrorist problems. Something tells me ISIS threats will not be an issue in the area.Report

      • Avatar Kim says:

        I’m not sure I’d call them hypothetical…
        There were certainly enough problems because of the prequels…
        (Okay, so you might not strictly call it terroristic…)Report